1) What were some of my favorite discoveries?
There were more than just a few favorites. I truly feel that I learned and acquired Web 2.0 tools that will have a direct impact in my classroom. I plan to put my Rollyo on my syllabus and give it to parents on their copy at Open House. I also plan to create and use Wikis with my students and parents. Teacher Tube - what an amazing new tool for me. Now I know where some of my colleagues have gotten such neat, effective videos. I also discovered the numerous uses of Google - I had no idea that Google Docs, Google Alerts, etc even existed. I love Google Earth and was familiar with it. Flickr, Dumpr, Library Thing, and Photo Story 3 were among my favorite discoveries - all of which I will continue to use. As you can see, my list is long, but I do love them all!
2) How has this assisted or affected my lifelong learning goals?
I have always considered myself to be a lifelong learner. At the end of each teaching year, I re-evaluate and reflect on what I have learned that year. I think every effective teacher must be a lifelong learner; however, we must continually acquire new skills and accept new challenges to foster this goal. This program has forced me to extend my learning curve and acquire new technology skills (which I needed) and get me out of my comfort zone. Because of all the new "things" I learned this summer, I will continue to "push my technology enveolpe" during this school year and push and challenge my students in new ways. Kudos to all of you for offering us this opportunity!
3) Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outomes from the program?
Yes!!! I had no idea that I would learn exponentially as I did this summer. My skill level on the computer and with technology has grown at an amazing rate. My knowledge of blogs and their purpose and the sheer number of them, my knowledge of Web 2.0 and all that it offers, and my realization of the vastness of the Internet, the many new teaching tools I have acquired are all a result of this program. I had no idea of what I did not know before these 23 Things. This has made me a more educated, effective teacher.
4) What can you do differently to improve this program's format or concept?
The program is fantastic! My suggestion would be for you all to publicize it better. Thanks to our librarian at MHS and her several emails about 23 Things, a bunch of us decided to participate. As I ran into friends over the summer in the district and mentioned to them what all I was learning, I found that they had never heard of this opportunity. So, I think you need to "push it" more. Some of our rave reviews should make others want to participate. Also, you monitored all we did so well. Whenever, I had a question or problem, Vaughn seemed to be right there ready to help. Wow! I really feel this program should be a requirement for all teachers in the district.
5) Would I participate in another discovery program like this?
Most definitely. One of the best facets of this program is that it is offered over the summer and is self-paced. You can learn and work through as your schedule permits. I taught 2 semesters of district summer school and still finished in July. I never felt pushed for time or pressured - it was enjoyable and gave a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I am proud of all I have learned!
6) Describe in one sentence this learning experience:
Incredible, FUN, exponential learning!
7) I will now comment on blogs! And, thanks again for this incredible journey!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I am not one who is caught up with social networking . . . my 3 daughters all love Facebook and show me things there from time to time. I certainly see its usefulness and effectiveness: my girls all keep up with friends and acquaintances from high school, college, and beyond. I know social networking is hugely popular. Nings seems much more appropriate to me for educators. It does seem to provide that "neutral setting" that it speaks of. I do think if is a good way to encourage students to talk and collaborate on topics. I looked at the Future of Education site in detail. The Classroom 2.0 with the Beginner Group seemed interesting. I will remember this and may follow it in the future. Honestly, I am not certain I will use Nings. But it is nice to know it is available and a good forum for questions and answers with other educators.
This is my new favorite "thing!" Once again, I had no idea that I could ever create a photo story of my own. How much fun this will be as a classroom application of my Algebra 2 students discovering ellipses down on the floor using string and my Precal PreAP's working in groups when Trig is new, etc. PhotoStory 3 is easy to use and fun to work with. I had trouble adding background music when trying to copy it from my ITunes, but once I used Windows Media Player, everything fell into place. This is another incrdible tool for us as classroom teachers to use to make learning fun and exciting.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I was already familiar with You Tube and had seen videos on other people's 23 Things from Teacher Tube, but had never used it. I love Teacher Tube! I found so many great videos that can be used in class or to have playing as kids come into class. I had much difficulty adding my Got Math video and ultimately had to enlist the help of a friend. Lucky for me, she was successful in helping me add it to my blog. Teacher Tube one more "thing" I will really use. I was able to save several of these videos to my favorites so that I can easily show them on my ActivBoard.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So many of these Web 2.0 award winners were fun to look at. I am familiar with several already . . . Urban Spoon, Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, etc. But I decided to explore Hosted Wikis since I became interested in using a Wiki when we posted a blog on them earlier. I created an account in both PB Works and Wikispaces - not certain which one I will use yet. Wikispaces has a tutorial that is wonderful - hands-on examples making it easy to use. I am leaning toward this one because of this tutorial. I am going to use the wikis I create with my PreAP Precal students this year. I think it is a great way for students to collaborate on challenge problems or homework, to communicate with parents, post assignments, and the list goes on. This is one of the many "things" that I feel can have an immediate, strong impact in my classroom. Now the task is to organize all of this new knowledge and incorporate it. It is exciting!